Milly's Orchid Show | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Milly's Orchid Show 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Milly May Smithy is Chicago's premiere impresario and greatest talent scout; for three years she's scoured clubs, back alleys, and garages for acts you've never seen and might never want to see--from a gay rap group (the Biggest Sissies in the World) who do only one song to a strange woman (Consuelo Allen) who recites Shakespeare with a spoon hanging from her nose; from an adolescent band of synchronized lariat artists (the Rodeo Gals) to a group of three male Cher impersonators (the Chers). Smithy herself--the creation of performance artist Brigid Murphy--essays her own brand of modern country ("I'm a Sucker for a Trucker") and does a sometimes uncomfortably accurate rendition of an emcee from hell, dragging a huge tangled pile of microphone cord behind her as she chats with the audience about her menstrual cycle. The acts in Milly's Orchid Show, her monthly revue, add up to a warped but cheerful testament to performance art, rap, being gay, being a woman, liking music, wanting to express yourself; it's chaotic and inconsistent, frequently uproariously funny, and occasionally brilliant. Wednesday's third-anniversary show is being billed as a greatest-hits affair; besides the acts mentioned above, look for disturbing performance artist Matthew Owens; female Elvis impersonator Linda Stoney Jones; John "Sinatra" Connors; a found film from the early 70s called Man in the Trevara Era, a promotional effort for a polyester fabric; Smithy's own tribute to Billy Jack; the New Duncan Imperials; and much more. Wednesday, 8:30 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage; 929-5959.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Gus Vlhas.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Bill Wyman

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
December 04
Galleries & Museums
Monet and Chicago Art Institute of Chicago
November 02

Popular Stories